In the Field Fall 2011 - Inter-Island Conversations
- Jamien and Amy are two teachers in the Vital Signs community. Their students have been hard at work exploring their local ecosystems. I'll give you some hints, and see if you can guess where these student scientists are hard at work.
Jamien’s students are 5th and 6th graders in a small independent school with students from pre-K to 8th grade. They commute to their school that is on an island by crossing a small causeway from mainland Falmouth. No one lives on this 100 acre island. Amy teaches in a community school with 200 students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. Amy’s students live on an 18.8km2 island (that’s 4,646 acres) 12 miles off of the coast of Rockland with 1,200 residents.
Going out to haul was fun. We got a lot of duds. Duds are traps that don't get anything.
student team bwad, Vinalhaven
Have you figured out where these two groups of students are located?
If you guessed Portland Friends School on Mackworth Island and Vinalhaven School, you got it!
What do these two groups of students have in common? They both do Vital Signs and they both explore their local island environments as part of their place-based science curriculum. Check out some cool things happening in and across these two classrooms!
Last spring Amy’s students went out on the water with a local lobsterman. They found some unexpected specimens in the traps, and some really great conversations happened with species experts and citizen scientists. They also collected some great data this fall on dry land. Check out some of their amazing observations by searching for Vinalhaven on the Explore Data page. Be sure to check “Show all dates.”
It’s incredible – the bittersweet is taking over everything. It even strangles whole trees.
student team CATS, Friends School
This fall Jamien’s students got a grant to study a 50mx50m plot on Mackworth Island. They inventoried the plants on the site (Explore data, Falmouth, 10/1/2011) and began removing invasive Oriental bittersweet. In the spring they‘ll plant native species in the place of the invasive vine. Check out the projects that they did to share their learning.
Inter-island conversations were another cool thing that happened this fall. Amy and Jamien connected their students over Edmodo. Jamien’s students went out to discover a plant in their local environment. They described the plant, drew the plant, and gave the plant a common name. Amy’s students looked at the work that Jamien’s students had done, asked pertinent questions via Edmodo, and tried to identify the plants and give official common names and scientific names.
These student scientists can’t wait to meet in person in March when Amy's students come to Portland for GMRI's Lab Venture program. The students at the Friends School of Portland are also planning an overnight visit to Vinalhaven for this spring.
We can’t wait to see what other great things come out of this inter-island collaboration!